Where did the time go?
Few people have the time to sit down and consider how they are using their time. Most of us move from one task to another and try to prioritize as we go, but have you ever considered how you actually spend your time?
Given that taking four or five courses is a full time job, it is important to budget how you will spend your time and where you will focus you attention so that you get the best value from your studies. Consider that a day has 24 hours and there are 168 hours in a week. How are you spending it? Here are a few tools to help you to log your time.
Consider the following common items that each person has in a week. How many hours did each item it take? What percentage of your 168 hours did you use? (Click on each bolded item to learn more)
Now use a Scheduling Grid or other scheduling tool to identify when these activities occur. You may wish to download this weekly schedule template.
Determine how you spend your time:
- Identify how much total time are you spending each week on the areas listed above and use a pie chart to create a visualization of your time use. If you want to take this activity to the further level, use a calculator to figure out what percentage of a week (168 hours) you spend at each of the activities listed above.
- Using the scheduling grid, log your time for a week and reflect on what is working and what is not working. Are you spending too much time focused on one task when your time and attention should have been paid to another? What changes could you make?
Extend Your Learning
Now that you have tracked your time for one week and have identified what is working or not working:
- Make a few changes to how you are spending your time and log your time for a second week
- At the end of the week, reflect on the changes and decide if they are worth keeping. If they are, integrate them into your daily life and try to make another change for the following week.
- Repeat this process until you feel comfortable with how you are spending your time.
In our next section we will explore how to meet your obligations by prioritizing your work. Click on the next section arrow to continue.